Flying Tiger Whisper

White Formula Whisper Foiling Recommendations

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Ride Height

Set the ride height adjusters to 3 mm as measured between the top of the white edge of the foil and the bottom of the black trailing edge of the foil when the wand is straight down.  Tighten the ride height nut fully, then undo the nut one quarter turn (just enough that you can adjust your ride height). 

Foil Rake

For racing, setting the foils asymmetrically is optimal (say 2.5 windward, 3.5 leeward), but when first learning to foil set them the same bilaterally.  Interestingly, it is necessary to set the foils with a higher rake for fresh water than for seawater due to the lower density of fresh water.  For seawater, learn to foil at first with the foil rake set at 3 bilaterally; For fresh water, 4 bilaterally. 

Running with an Even Keel

“The most important thing is the boat must be flat to foil.”  Like a plane taking off, the wings will provide the most lift when parallel to the surface.

Twin Trapeze

Having both captain and crew out on the trapeze is the easiest way to foil.  The crew uses the main sheet to maintain their stance on the hull while the captain uses the traveler (but do not uncleat the traveler). 

Beam Reach

While you are on a beam reach going near your max speed, let the mainsail out slightly and you should start to foil.  

Avoiding Windward Capsize

Once you start to foil, it is likely the mast will tip windward.  When this happens, do not point more into the wind as you will luff and lose power in the mainsail.  When foiling, your speed will increase and the apparent wind will shift forward.  Sheeting in the main should apply more force leeward and avoid capsize.

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Hi Tiger! :-) 

(we have a small band of Whisper sailors, and we've been exchanging notes and tips in private, Flying Tiger Whisper is bringing that here, so perhaps other Whisper sailors and generally catamaran foilers can join the chatter...) 

My response to the notes above is that I agree and...

The ride height adjuster needs "a little bit" more explanation. I'll post a video about it Real Soon Now.

On the "running an even keel" track, the way I make it work is...

  • sail the cat normally in a beam reach until you're doing 8kt or more
  • at that point, ease off the main until the boat is no longer leaning; look up the mast, get it straight up
  • you'll start flying! (if not, try moving weight aft)
  • when you start flying, it speeds up, so apparent wind moves forward; sheet in a bit but not enough that the boats leans to leeward, or have it barely lean to leeward. flat flat flat. is the mast straight up?
  • sometimes it'll lean to windward, that's ok (feels super odd!); sheet in, and/or flex your legs to bring crew weight closer to the center of the boat

Once you have it going, refinements

  • the weight positioning for takeoff is a bit astern; if I stay there the boat weaves in and out of the water, so it is better to step forward a bit after takeoff
  • once it's flying, it's easy to overreact on the mainsheet, sheeting in and out too much; we approach Zen as we reduce the amount of correction on the main sheet...

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Not having sailed a Whisper and only having watched the videos, it is interesting to hear what you are doing and this reinforces my view that all beach cat foilers need to be sailed in the same way and the different foil systems are more like a fine tune as to how hard the boat is to sail. I suspect the Whisper  is at the easier ed of the scale while many suggest the Flying Phantom is at the difficult end of the scale.

The one thing not mentioned in your guide is sail adjustments and in particular, downhaul. In foilers, this seems to be a critical control. You need to sail to have power to get up and foiling but once up, you need the sails to be as flat as possible. What do you guys do?

I would be interested to hear about your experiences with upwind foiling, both about how you achieve it and whether it pays in racing. If you have read the S9 Stunt thread, you will note that it doesn't seem to pay for them until it is pretty breezy, if at all. 

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Hi ACS! 

yes, seems like they are very similar in technique; and I follow the Stunt thread carefully for the same reason. I know the Whisper is setup with a very powerful downhaul and I... crank it down plenty. I don't have a measure of it, unfortunately.

With decent wind (~10kt), my Whisper seems to foil very close to its best upwind angle; though foiling there is hard work on the crew's hands and arms; bear away a few degrees and it's much nicer.

Overall VMG will surely vary with angle, wind speed and chop; it is hard to tell (at least for me) where/when it pays, and when it doesn't without a similar boat to compare, or very good/stable conditions.

One funny aspect is that chop in mild winds makes it hard to take off, but once you're up, you're literally and figuratively above it all. Here in Biscayne Bay, this 4th of July weekend we laughed crossing the big wakes of the humongous censored powerboats. Freedom!

Here we have light winds in summer, and I am loving the big spinnaker we carry. Looks and feels pretty crazy to fly with the 3 sails out. Am I really doing this?

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